Start Date: 1994 Completion Date: 1995 Project Design: Steve Taylor Builder: Steve Taylor Builder Owner: Dan and Kelly French Location: Mosquito Island
In 1994, our son, Dan French inherited Mosquito Island from his grandfather, Thomas Mitchell, who used the island primarily for duck hunting.
That same summer, he became engaged to his lovely bride, Kelly Bradley. Both the Taylor-French and Bradley families were thrilled with the match. The Bradleys took to the river like ducks and before their visit was over, Bob and Margaret (Bradley) mentioned that they would like to help the young couple build a small cottage on the island. From there, the project escalated, not in scale, but in detail, until it became Fort Bradley , the blockhouse now guarding our northern border and protecting the “ Narrows ” from British attack.
The design of the cottage recalls the historic blockhouses that guarded both shores during the War of 1812 and the Patriot’s War of 1837-1838. In fact, there was a skirmish in the “ Narrows ” during the Patriot’s War. Typically, these outposts were square buildings with strong masonry walls on the first floor (where munitions were stored) supporting a projecting wooden structure above topped by a hip roof. A few of these blockhouses still stand along the Rideau Canal and at Fort Wellington , in Prescott , Ontario .
Little Mosquito Island demanded that our blockhouse be scaled down, which led to our adding a “gun tower” to house the staircase, and “ramparts” to accommodate the master bedroom and roof terrace. The cottage has two bedrooms, a bath and covered porch on the lower level. The open living and dining space on the upper level opens to the roof terrace.
Fort Bradley has 765 square feet of interior living space, with wonderful vistas all around.